The Emir of Anka and the Chairman of Zamfara State Council of Chiefs, Attahiru Ahmad, has narrated how terrorists abducted about 100 miners operating in the state on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the traditional ruler spoke on Tuesday while receiving Lucky Irabor, Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), who led service chiefs on an assessment visit to Bello Matawalle, the Governor of Zamfara State.
He said the terrorists also killed 10 miners during the operation, noting that the incident was overshadowed by the abduction of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe students on the same day.
The Emir who ruled out the connection between terrorists and miners said the miners have been among the major targets of the terrorists.
According to him, it was baffling to slam a no-fly zone in a state that doesn’t have an airport.
“The bandits have been attacking those involved in artisanal mining and carting away their money and property,” he said.
“There is a disconnect between miners and bandits in the state, so we were surprised when the declaration of ‘no-fly zone’ was recently slammed on our state over suspected arms supply and illegal mining when the state does not even have an airport.”
“We know that there are states with more security challenges than Zamfara and we expected that if such an order would be issued, it would also cover such states.”
“Our artisanal miners, who are licenced, have been very helpful to the state’s economic growth and they have played significant roles in ameliorating the hardship faced by IDPs in the state by supporting them.”
The Emir called for more security presence in the state, saying the security men fighting the terrorist were insufficient.
“The peace and dialogue initiative of our governor has become necessary because at the moment we have less than 5,000 security men fighting over 30,000 bandits,” he said.
Responding, the CDS commended the role played by the traditional rulers in fighting crime and urged them to continue to engage their subjects in giving credible information that would lead to the containment of bandits.
On his part, Governor Bello Matawalle assured that his administration would intensify its peace and dialogue and support the security in sustaining the onslaught against unrepentant terrorists.
Meanwhile, the Governor has issued a two-month ultimatum to the terrorists to surrender their arms or face the wrath of security forces.
Matawalle confirmed that 6,000 additional troops were approved by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to curtail the lingering insecurity in Zamfara State.
The governor said the state has criminalised the movements of large numbers of motorcycle riders in an attempt to stop the movement of terrorists.
Terrorists are known to be ransacking villages and towns of north-western states of Nigeria, riding motorcycles.
Matawalle tasked traditional rulers to remain within their areas of control and checkmate influx and movements of criminal elements.
He also reiterated that the activities of vigilante groups, locally known as “Yan Sakai”, have been banned to douse tensions.
The “Yan Sakai” have emerged in different parts of North-western Nigeria due to the growing lawlessness in the region.
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